Do you need some ideas for how to conduct your
very first guild meeting? This suggested program outline can help you get
started - First Meeting Outline
Here are a couple
of ready-to-use program outlines, from actual guild programs created and used by
the North Coast Knitters, San Diego, CA – Program Outlines You Can
SCROLL DOWN for miscellaneous information you may find useful, like these:
~ Other Program Ideas You Might TryOther Program Ideas You Might
~ Guild Dues, Expenses, Proof of Insurance, Non-Profit Status
~ Thoughts on Retail Shops and Local Guilds
~ Storing Historical Documents for Your Guild
- Schedule Field Trips – to a yarn store that’s a little farther away than
most members usually visit. Or to an art museum to see their fabric displays.
It’s always nice to get away, perhaps have a meal out together, and look at
things from a different perspective. It’s amazing how just a change of location
can perk up everyone’s outlook.
- Hold a Contest – perhaps a scarf contest or a cap contest. Announce the
winners in your local newspaper – complete with photos! Maybe couple the contest
with a knit-a-scarf-for-charity project. In addition to competition-winning
scarves, your members will knit scarves that can be donated to a shelter for
adults and children.
- Bring In a Teacher for a Workshop. It can be about knitting or something
else, like home décor!
- Teach Knitting to the Next Generation – Invite a local Girl Scout troop or
other young people’s group to attend – and teach them knitting. Round up some
inexpensive supplies they can take with them, and tell them where to buy more.
- Knit Up Some Charity Projects – check with your local hospital, for example.
Do they need chemo caps? preemie caps? etc. Don’t forget the Precious Pals™
program – start looking for stuffed animals on sale and then knit up precious
outfits for each critter. Donate these cuddly pals locally or send to TKGA to
present at the next Conference to the agencies in that area.
- Hold a meeting on identifying yarns. Nearly everyone has something in their
stash they can’t quite identify any more. Reference the Fall 2002 issue of Cast
On for the article by Pat Shorten on "Taking the Mystery Out of Fibers.” Back
issues are available for order. (For example, Pat suggests you can identify some
fibers by burning a piece and noting the smell and ash!)
- Have a Ball-Winding Meeting. Borrow as many ball winders as possible and
have a meeting of ball-winding; combine it with reports from your members who’ve
- Have an Auction to Bid on Brown Bags of Yarn – and send the monies you raise
to charity. Everyone brings a brown paper bag filled with a ball or several
balls of yarn they want to auction. Not knowing what you’re bidding on is half
the fun! (Or do a simple yarn exchange – put all of the yarns on a table and
draw numbers to see who gets to pick first, second, etc.)
- Explore a Vest Pattern or Other Outfit that your Whole Guild can Make and
Wear, so everyone matches when you go on outings or to the TKGA Convention.
If you come up with an unusually great program, share it with us and
we’ll share it with other guilds in the next issue of the Swatches newsletter
that is sent to your President.
Be sure to mark your calendar to join in
the learning and the fun at our Regional Conferences and annual National
Convention. Watch your mailbox for registration brochures or check www.TKGA.com
for information (click on Events & News and then all listings below that
header). When our events are in your region, your guild can also get involved by
volunteering for the various committees needed – an important part in making
these events both fun and successful!Guild Dues,
Expenses, Proof of Insurance, Non-Profit
Most guilds affiliated with The
Knitting Guild Association have expenses and charge dues – only 19% collect no
dues. Most guilds say they charge between $10 and $20 in annual fees for meeting
space rental, newsletter and meeting notification postage and copying expenses,
and remuneration for special speakers.
When guilds are small and
meetings are held in homes, there is little expense. Guild structure remains
informal and group "business” is simple. The treasury may involve selecting an
individual you trust to collect the money and pay expenses. Another individual
may oversee and provide accountability.
But as groups grow, their issues
become more complex. A formal organizational structure is needed in order to
maintain "business”. A larger group may find it difficult to secure meeting
space, for example. Rental may be expensive, or the renter may require proof of
insurance. If your group holds fund-raisers, taxability will need to be
addressed. As you begin to face these types of issues, you may want to seek
advice from some experts – a lawyer or tax consultant.
larger amounts of money should establish a formal treasury arrangement – a bank
account and regular audits. Learn your bank’s requirements for opening an
organization account. At the very least, a bank will require information about
your group – your by-laws, a written resolution from the guild or its officers
asking that the account be established, and a statement of who will have
signature authority. Some banks may only provide accounts to nonprofit groups or
business entities. Do some research to see if it is worthwhile to seek nonprofit
status through the Internal Revenue Service. Can your guild be covered under The
Knitting Guild Association’s nonprofit status? The answer is no, and has to do
with the way TKGA relates to the guilds. While each guild is registered with
TKGA in order to show their guild member affiliation and support for TKGA, each
TKGA Guild is a separate entity from the TKGA Headquarters' nonprofit
This means that if your guild desires to establish
itself as a nonprofit organization with a tax ID number (for purposes of
securing insurance for meeting space or a guild bank account or non-taxed
purchases, etc.), it will need to have its own Articles of Organization or
Articles of Incorporation, which will state that you intend to form a group that
will operate as a nonprofit corporation (legal term used by the IRS). You can
find more information about the IRS and nonprofits at http://www.irs.gov/Charities-&-Non-Profits
You will also need to check with your State to see
if they have any special language they want you to put into Articles of
Organization. The following Web site can help you find the information you need
for your state: http://www.governmentguide.com/main.adp.
While incorporating may seem like a bother for a
small group, it does help resolve issues for large or small groups, such as
establishing a bank account and securing insurance.
If you have
questions and want to talk to other guilds to see what they have done, go to the
guild listing in the TKGA Web site. Send an e-mail to a couple of them, to see
if they are willing or able to answer questions. Some may not respond, but
others may be very willing to share their journey. To locate some of the larger
guilds, look for those that have Web sites.
Thoughts on Retail Shops and Local Guilds
Guilds sometimes have difficulty finding meeting places that do not charge rent or require them to have insurance. Retail shops can be a solution for them. It can be a win-win for the guild AND the shop, as long as each has a good understanding of what the arrangement parameters are. Shops may find that hosting guild meetings provides them with added visibility among knitters and increased traffic, but it is important that shops be careful not to hold unreasonable expectations of the guild members. Shops have been known to drive away local groups because of demands that they only buy supplies from their store, etc. This can be an especially touchy situation if there are other knitting shops in the area.
Shops also need to consider what hosting a guild can mean in the way of obligations. For example, will the guild meet during business hours? If so, is there adequate parking so that other customers can easily get to the shop? Or will the guild meet after business hours? If so, are employees available to supervise? Nothing can put a wedge between a shop and a guild faster than an accusation of theft (whether true or not) because no one was there to keep watch.
Shops who "found” a guild also need to keep in mind that TKGA does not consider those who "found” guilds to be "owners” of the guild. (Dues paid to start a guild do not make one the guild’s "owner”.)
Hopefully, these thoughts will help guilds and shops take in all considerations when thinking of working together – and a happy mutual arrangement can be set in place. It can be rewarding for both sides!
Storing Historical Documents for Your
What do you do when
archives and scrapbooks and historical items start to pile up? Each local
chapter or guild runs into these types of issues.
Note that for some
groups which are registered with their state as nonprofits, it is important to
keep any paperwork related to who you are and what you do (minutes and financial
records). But other documents may not be necessary.
If your guild hasn't
applied for nonprofit status with your state, your only reason for having
historical scrapbooks and other archives is to merely serve yourselves. Some
groups hang onto everything and have a historian who stores them and references
them on special occasions. It is, for example, nice to be able to look through
such things when you plan a big anniversary (marking 10 years, 25 years, etc.).
If the items are piling up, you might want to appoint someone to cull out items
you think might be important for an anniversary and dispose of the
Piles of documents and scrapbooks that no one ever looks at can be
a burden to whoever has to store them, so while it is hard to throw things away,
a time may come when it is necessary. Create new memories, instead of dusting